We Tried Chipotle’s New Potential Menu Items — Here Are Our Thoughts
Calling all Chipotle fans! Go buy yourself a new pair of sweatpants and get ready to expand your burrito-loving palate because in the coming months, Chipotle might be rolling out some new items that will give its menu a long-awaited upgrade.
Unlike its competitors, the fast-casual chain has maintained pretty much the same menu since its first restaurant opened back in 1993. Chipotle only started adding more ingredients like chorizo and queso in the past few years due to high demand and wavering sales. And now, Chipotle is taking the next step in its culinary reformation at the ever-evolving Chipotle NEXT Kitchen in New York City. The Swirled team stopped by the test kitchen to try out all the recent creations, from quesadillas to Paloma margaritas, and see what all the hype is about.
Though the menu touted new ingredients like quinoa and avocado salad vinaigrette, sometimes you have to pick and choose. So out of all the Chipotle Test Kitchen options, we tried the steak quesadilla, chicken nachos, avocado tostada, Mexican chocolate shake and frozen Paloma margarita.
The quesadilla is already an option on the kids menu at Chipotle, and some fans even consider ordering one a secret menu hack. But now, it’s moving up to the big leagues.
Thanks to new, state-of-the-art equipment at the test kitchen, Chipotle quesadillas can be compressed and grilled to gooey perfection within a short 30 seconds. Though quesadillas are great when they come with all the toppings, there was something beautiful about the simplicity of Chipotle’s version. Each bite included big chunks of fresh steak and lots of melted cheese topped off with just the right crunch from the toasted shell. The actual size of the quesadilla wasn’t overwhelming. Depending on the depth of your stomach, it would be perfect for sharing with a friend before chowing down on a salad or burrito bowl together.
Since the release of its all-natural quesdo dip, Chipotle has been immensely criticized over the past year regarding the actual taste and consistency of the product. Regardless, if you are a true Chipotle queso lover at heart, the nachos are a must-try on your next visit. This new menu item is the definition of Chipotle toppings overload. Our guac-to-bean-to-corn ratio was stacked so high that it was hard to even reach the chips at the bottom. What makes these nachos different and even more fun, though, is that the there is a very very generous serving of queso on every single chip.
Always go for the queso, but bring friends to help because devouring these nachos is not a task meant for one.
Chipotle welcomed vegetarians into its cult fan base back in 2014 with the addition of sofritas to its menu. But this tostada is another great veggie-friendly alternative for when you’ve had one too many burrito bowls. (What? It can happen.)
Keep in mind, sour cream is not a requirement — just a lifestyle choice. So think of this menu item as the new “Chipotle-lite” or just a glorified chip with some guac on it.
Mexican Chocolate Shake
Disclaimer: Only order this item if you have a serious appetite because this milkshake is thick. It’s made with a base of traditional Mexican cocoa, which serves to establish a distinctive chocolatey flavor with every sip. The milkshake is also blended with cinnamon and other spices that give it a nice kick you’ll enjoy on a hot summer day.
Frozen Paloma Margarita
Though Chipotle has been serving up regular margs for quite some time now, this new version was possibly the most delicious and innovative part of the entire test kitchen menu. The Paloma is a mixture of tequila and grapefruit soda and, in margarita form, it proves to be the perfect compliment to the heavy cheese-infused items on the rest of the menu. The refreshing drink was somehow both sweet and tart at the same time. Its icy mixture and hint of lime lingered on the taste buds in such a way that if you blindfolded us and say we were on a beach in Mexico, we just might have believed you.
About $35 dollars and a bucket of queso later, it was time to lie down for the world’s largest food coma. Keep an eye out for when Chipotle decides to grace its national menu with these awesome new items because they are definitely worth the wait. And if you can’t contain your excitement, take a trip to the Chipotle Next Kitchen!
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